footprints on my chest


The visible and the in-

by Marge Piercy

Some people move through your life

like the perfume of peonies, heavy

and sensual and lingering.

Some people move through your life

like the sweet musky scent of cosmos

delicate if you sniff twice, it’s gone.

Some people occupy your life

like moving men who cart off

couches, pianos and break dishes.

Some people touch you so lightly you

are not sure it happened. Others leave

you flat with footprints on your chest.

Some are like those fall warblers

you can’t tell from each other even

though you search Petersen’s.Some come down hard on you like

a striking falcon and the scars remain

and you are forever wary of the sky.We all are waiting rooms at bus

stations where hundreds have passed

through unnoticed and others

have almost burned us down

and others have left us clean and new

and others have just moved in.
“The visible and the in-” from MADE IN DETROIT by Marge Piercy. Published by Alfred A. Knopf. Copyright © 2015 by Marge Piercy. Used by permission of The Wallace Literary Agency, a division of Robin Straus Agency, Inc.



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